Cap Gemini Ernst &Young did its reputation untold damage with the bad
publicity it received for making redundancies by voicemail.
Much of it was unfair of course, but it raises the question – how shouldan organisation
announce job cuts and how should it break the news toindividuals?
When times are good, companies invest in conferences, videos and literature
in pursuit of motivating their workforce and boosting their internal
So why do so many put the company’s long-term reputation on the back burner
when it comes to making people redundant?
If people feel they have been discarded without consideration a company
might find it is no longer a favoured place to work.
How can companies avoid this? First, ensure people receive regular
information about how the organisation is doing against its business plan.
So, if things do start to go wrong, the staff will be the first to start
questioning whether things can continue with the current staffing levels. There
should be no surprises and employees will make educated guesses on where they
stand. Second, once actual numbers, selection criteria and jobs are identified,
it is important to talk to people quickly and individually.
Although it is impossible to eliminate uncertainty for people at this stage,
the organisation should make every attempt to minimise it and keep
communication channels open.
Jenny Davenport is the director of People in Businessjenny@pib.co.uk